Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Travel: Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I was initially skeptical upon reading all the recommendations for Recoleta Cemetery as a sight to see in Buenos Aires. Really, a cemetery? But Recoleta is no ordinary cemetery. The travel sites and guidebooks all say it is the resting place of the famous and wealthiest of Buenos Aires, but that still didn't prepare me for what I was about to see.

Think Hollywood Forever Cemetery was impressive? Think again. Cementerio de la Recoleta contains massive rows of stunning, ornate mausoleums that tower over you. Each mausoleum belongs to one family and multiple generations are buried there.

Some are as big as a two-story house with sculptures, mosaics, and paintings.

You can tell which mausoleum is the most famous and visited by the amount of flowers left on the door. It is one of the reasons people visit Recoleta cemetery: the resting place of Eva (Evita) Peron. You won't find her under the name Peron, however, as it is Argentinean custom to bury husband and wife separately.
It is not the most extravagant crypt there but you can spot it by the unusual number of people standing/taking photos nearby, the flowers, and the plaques talking about Eva Peron.

You can spend quite a bit of time just walking around here as the place is huge. Some of the mausoleums are unkempt and falling apart, some new. The place is a history lesson of Argentina in itself. Former Presidents of Argentina are buried here, too, of course. Too bad I was ignorant and didn't know who any of them are.



This place is really holly for Argentineans. They say the Pope visited the place and blessed it. Now everybody who goes leaves the place not only with purity but also with joy and wisdom. When I was there, I used to go several times a week and I felt better after being there, they say there is something in the air that refreshes people. That is why when I decided to rent apartments in buenos aires  I knew it had to be in Recoleta!

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